Capital Region Hub

Capital Region

School Districts
61, 62, 63, 64

Community Animator
Matthew Kemshaw
matthew.kemshaw@nullfarmtoschoolbc.ca

About
For many years, a hub of school food activity has been developing in the Capital Region on Vancouver Island. With local non-profit organizations in the region working hard to support schools to engage in Farm to School related activities alongside the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR) working to convene a network of school food activity for a number of years, the region was primed and ready to build a Farm to School Regional Hub and join together under a united movement.

In the 2014-2015 school year, the Public Health Association of BC, Farm to School BC and the CRFAIR entered into a partnership to embed Farm to School work within the CRFAIR’s Collective Impact Strategy and provide support to the region in the form of funding for Farm to School grants and Community Animator capacity to develop a Farm to School Hub for the region.

Between 2014-2016, the Capital Region Farm to School Community Animator has worked to develop a Farm to School Steering Committee composed of key local stakeholders who give direction and guidance to the Animator for the further development of Farm to School in the region.

CRFAIR has for many years used a roundtable format to bring together communities of practice. Within the work of the Capital Region Farm to School Hub, roundtables are scheduled throughout the school year bringing together school and community stakeholders engaged or interested in Farm to School. The Farm to School Roundtables allow schools to share successes and challenges, explore collaboration, and work to contribute to the priorities of the Hub network.

To learn more about CRFAIR’s work visit www.crfair.ca

 

About the Community Animator
Matthew is thrilled to be stepping into this role in the Capital Region after many years of supporting previous Animators from other community based positions. He brings many years of experience and relationship building to the work and is excited to learn how he can help the school districts of the Capital Region continue to lead innovative Farm to School programming.

Matthew is a father, seed saver and settler of English and 1/8 Irish ancestry. His great grandfathers immigrated to southern Vancouver Island when they were young men, and brought their families a few years later. Matthew grew up in Shawnigan Lake and has lived most of his adult life on the unceeded territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt people. Matthew has almost twenty years of experience supporting school and community “garden” projects. As an educator, he’s gathered an unusual mix of experiences, from: starting the Victoria Seed Library, to growing vegetable seedlings with youth in East Vancouver, to supporting community/university research on healthy school food systems, to leading the LifeCycles Project Society and coordinating high school food gardens in SD62.

Matthew holds a BA with double majors in Environmental Studies and Political Science and an MA in Environmental Education and Communication, though he acknowledges that much of his practical knowledge has been learned from mentors outside of the walls of these institutions.